Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chungwon Hwaegwan (Yeongam)

At the feet of beautiful Jirisan and next to the county office, try their amazing jjangddungeotang (짱뚱어탕), a soup made with these almost amphibian fishes you can see crawling on the seashores after the tide. A truly unique and very subtle flavor.

Chungwon Hwaegwan / 충원해관 (restaurant)
Dongmu-ri, Yeongam-eup, Yeongam-gun, YEONGAM, ROK (Jeollanam-do)
Tel : +82.61.473.6700 - 473.6711

SM2005

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Mabang jib (Hannam)

A place to rest (the last stop for your horse before entering seoul) and feast with traditional and original food. No fusion but for the delicious things melting on your palate.

Mabang Jib / 마방집 (restaurant)
428-4 beonji, Cheonhyeon-dong, Hanam-si, HANAM, ROK (Gyeonggi-do)
Tel : +82.31.791.0011

SM2003 - Seoul Village

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Mirak (Seoul)

You're for one reason or another lost in Suyu-dong. You're looking for a Korean feast but you'd like to avoid the royal full course marathon with the whole shebang (decorum et al). Here, everything is served at once : about 40 "banchan" (side dishes) will enlight your main course, which could well simply turn out to be a rather surprising oyster rice. Please your eyes and palate for a song. All these small streams make a huge river, so finishing them all could be a genuine mirakle.

Mirak (restaurant)
273-15 Suyu 2-dong, Gangbuk-gu, SEOUL, ROK
Tel : +82.2.995.2999

SM2005

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Ojangdong Hamheung Nengmyeon (Seoul)

Three restaurants next to each other share the same name : pick the one in the middle. You'll see both limousines and rotten cabs parked in front of this not so glamorous place. One big room, each party wolfing ultraspicy cold noodles down - a North Korean sadicist treat served with a delicious beef stew. Strong, cheap... a killer institution.

OJANGDONG HAMHEUNG NENGMYEON (restaurant)
90-10 Ojang-dong, Jung-gu, SEOUL, ROK
Tel : +82.2.2267.9500 - 2268.8500

SM2005

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Woo-Jeong Nakji (Seoul)

Their octopuss is so hot it may kill your foes or your microbs, but their light clam soup can help you survive another day.

SM2003

Woo-Jeong Nakji / Ujeong Nakji / 우정낙지 (restaurant)
Seolin-dong 127, Jongno-gu, SEOUL, ROK
Tel : +82.2.720.7991

Photo "Octopus museum" (copyright Stephane MOT 2007)


Woo-Jeong Nakji's ugly old yellow-salmonishy building is the only one remaining in the area after the restoration of Cheonggyecheon. You simply can't remove such an institution overnight. Hell - if they can survive their own food these guys may even survive a nuclear attack.

I'm afraid bulldozers will eventually tear this Octopus Museum down and that day will be a sad one for Yours Truly.

SM2006

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

banNK accounts and other accounts for historians

People from North Korea will be allowed to open bank accounts in China and do business in Yuan.

You know what kind of people from North Korea can afford this kind of tasks these days.

Pyeongyang's regime is offered a safe heaven in return for what ? Probably a Chinese anschluss of Chosun, as a province of the new and improved Koguryo, the fake cultural and historical center of Korea under construction in North East China, with the benediction of an army of revisionist historians.

Under the Middle Kingdom's powerful umbrella, this new Tibet will then demand the reunification with that renegate and remote piece of land called South Korea.

Pathetic.

Don't get me wrong. I love China and respect its unique civilisation. I do know its cultural influence on the region in general and especially in Korea.

But Korea is not a Chinese province and Koguryo doesn't belong to China.

And Beijing's top strategists are playing a very dangerous game by fueling ultranationalism. This folly is the best way to keep a nation united in the short term and to make it implode in the medium term. Remember Yugoslavia. See how xenophobia and antisemitism are condemning Putin's Russia.

China is a great country and the birthplace of strategy, but I'm afraid Sun Tzu's heirs are losing their minds and waging the wrong battles at the wrong moment.

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